NC Voter’s Guide 2022: Sam Hershey, Wake County School Board



Sam Hershey


Wake District 6 County School Board Candidates

Sam Hershey, Dajma Livingston, Patrice Nealon and Chad Stall are running for Wake County School Board District 6. School board member Christine Kushner, who has held the District 6 seat since 2011, is not seeking another term.

Last name: Sam Hershey

Political party: Democrat

Age as of November 8, 2022: 45

Campaign website:

Occupation: Company owner. We have a startup that focuses on end-of-life planning.

Education: NC State University, BA, Political Science; Queens Charlotte University, MBA

Have you ever been a candidate in an election? Yes: Raleigh City Council District A, 2019

Please list the highlights of your civic engagement:

  • 2021 City of Raleigh Fred Fletcher Award for Outstanding Group Volunteer for the work I did at Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve
  • Currently Treasurer of the PTA and representative of the Douglas Elementary School Board Advisory Council
  • Assistant Cub Master, i9 Coach, Food Bank Volunteer, Regular Blood Donor

Why do you want to serve on the Wake County School Board?

I believe in the importance of public schools for all of our children, our families and our communities. I believe we need school board representatives who have demonstrated through their actions that they will be champions of our public schools while listening to our students, our families and our educators to meet the challenges we are facing.

My actions:

  • Active in the WCPSS for 18 years
  • Worked for WCPSS for 10 years
  • Only one to choose WCPSS for the education of his child
  • Sits on the WCPSS PTA Board of Directors

What are Wake County Public Schools doing well?

  • WCPSS does a great job when it comes to school choice. This includes magnetic programs and innovative cooperative high schools (eg Wake STEM, Wake Health Sciences)
  • WCPSS has strong professional programs: vocational and technical education and dual enrollment programs through Wake Tech
  • WCPSS is proactive on school security: a security audit and new SRO agreements with more training
  • WCPSS implements the Helps tutoring plan to combat learning loss with one-on-one tutoring

What would be your three priorities if you were elected? Choose one and explain how you would treat it.

  1. Learning loss
  2. School safety/bullying
  3. Communication

A recurring theme in many of the challenges we face is the need to improve communication. WCPSS offers several options for families to receive information (email, SMS, call), but we need to listen better to students, parents and teachers. It’s also not always easy to find information on county and school websites or know who to call if you have a problem.

What should the district do in response to calls to remove books from schools that some say are inappropriate for students?

I am against banning books, but it is important to have age-appropriate books in every school. I have complete confidence in our librarians and teachers on this. They are well-educated professionals who put a lot of thought into book selection. WCPSS also has a good process in place that allows parents to request a book to be reviewed and allows parents to remove their child from an assignment.

How should schools discuss issues of discrimination based on race, gender and other factors?

We should have honest conversations about these very real issues. We should teach an accurate story that reflects perspectives from all walks of life. It is important that conversations are age appropriate, with older children receiving more in-depth instruction.

How would you make schools safer in the wake of school shootings like Uvalde, Texas?

I would like to commend the WCPSS for conducting a comprehensive school safety assessment over the past two years. Some of the report’s recommendations include “a cohesive district-wide visitor management system, district-wide staff development training in safety and security,” and the hiring of “d ‘a physical security specialist who would work in cooperation with school principals to improve physical conditions’. safety in every school.

I support all the evaluation recommendations.

What would you do to try to address the student learning loss that has been exacerbated by the pandemic?

I fully support the partnership between WCPSS, the Helps Education Fund and the Triangle YMCA to provide individual and small group tutoring. It is also essential that we have a well-trained teacher in each class. I believe our goal should be to have one teaching assistant (teacher) in every elementary classroom or at least one RN for every two classrooms. This would allow for one-on-one time with each student each week. This is one of the many reasons I support Leandro’s funding.

What is the appropriate level of funding that should be provided to schools in Wake County?

I support:

  • Leandro’s funding, mandated by the North Carolina Supreme Court, will help get well-trained teachers in every classroom and well-trained principals in every school. Leandro will also provide support for new teachers and help target underperforming schools, as well as provide high quality early childhood programs and more.
  • Significant salary increases for teachers, RNs, counsellors, social workers, nurses, security assistants and bus drivers.
  • WCPSS bonds and Wake Tech bonds on the ballot.

Luciana Perez Uribe Guinassi reports on North Carolina politics.


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